Former KLEK radio host Qubilah Jones’s goals when she joined the non-profit station was to organize a Juneteenth celebration in Jonesboro. The host of “Community Conversations” got her wish and starting in 2017 the station hosted its first celebration, KLEK founder LaGanzie Kale told Talk Business & Politics.
Jones spent years battling Lymphedema, an incurable disease that causes the lymph nodes to swell and she passed away Dec. 31 at the age of 45. Despite the loss, Kale said the celebration that she supported will continue this year and it will be dedicated to her.
KLEK will host its 6th annual Juneteenth in Jonesboro June 15-19. More than 16,000 people attended last year’s events and it won the Betty T. Sloan Promotional Award by the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce for promoting the city in a positive light.
For the third straight year, Juneteenth will be celebrated as a national holiday after President Joe Biden made it one after he came into office in 2021.
All events are free. A full detailed list of events and performances as well as more information is available here.
A shop/Black Business Expo, community worship service featuring several local churches, a health fair and blood drive, parade, community fair, fireworks and other events are planned.
Juneteenth celebrates the final day African-Americans were enslaved thanks to President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. However, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865 that Union Soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas with the news of the enslaved people’s freedom and end of the Civil War.